SHOPPERS hoping for a winter wonderland in the town centre will be disappointed this year after it was announced there would be no Christmas market.

For the last two years, Canal Walk has been filled with chalets selling a variety of stocking-fillers for people needing last minute gift ideas.

But it is understood the company behind this year’s market has pulled out, leaving it too late to find a replacement.

InSwindon is responsible for organising the market but no-one was able to speak on Wednesday to confirm the reasons for the cancellation.

It is understood there will be a few stalls dotted around the town centre but no formal market.

Although Swindon Borough Council is not responsible for running the market, Councillor Garry Perkins (Con, Haydon Wick) sits on the board of InSwindon.

He said: “The company behind the market said they couldn’t do it and it is not something which should be rushed.

“There will be a few stalls, possibly things like the German Sausage stall, but nothing major and nothing to take away from the businesses based in the town centre.

“We do want to see a good Christmas market but we want to make sure it is done properly. The places which have a good market sort it several years in advance.

“The aim is to make the Christmas market an addition to the shopping. We want something which will attract people and benefit the shops down there.”

The Christmas Market in Swindon has a chequered history, having been cancelled three years ago following a licencing issue,

However, it returned the following year and in 2014 there was strong demand for the chalets from traders.

Speaking last year, InSwindon’s Di Powell said the aim of the market was to take advantage of the trade.

She said: “We want to build upon 2013’s market and offer a wide range of unique Christmas gifts, garden sculptures, jewellery, stocking fillers, homemade preserves and much more.

“Markets are truly magical around this time, bringing a traditional feel to the town amidst a time of joy and cheer as the build up to Christmas is well under way. The illuminated chalets look fabulous in the darkened winter evenings, where shoppers fill the town centre searching for the perfect gifts for their loved ones.”

However, the markets drew criticism from a number of shoppers who said there was a lack of variety and it would not attract them to the town.